Grading Papers & Projects
It is often difficult to determine how to “grade” or evaluate a paper, project, or activity. Did you ever wonder how a teacher decided that your paper was an A, B, C, etc.? When one student is compared to another, there may be unfair grading practices that take place. In order to create a more objective evaluation process, the requirements are to be clearly identified before the assignment is given. When the assignment is completed, the final work can be evaluated according to the preset requirements. Two successful methods of doing this are by using checklists and rubrics. (There are others, but these two are simple to use and effective.) These two techniques leave out the subjective guessing in evaluating a child’s work.
A checklist is one method of evaluating work. The checklist is created before an assignment is given. What do you want your child to learn from the assignment? What types of things should they include? These should be included in the checklist. The child then has a guideline to follow when completing the assignment. After the assignment is completed, you simply check off the areas that were included, total the number of points and arrive at a grade. Here is an example of a checklist.
Another method of evaluating is a rubric. A rubric is very much like a checklist, but allows you to evaluate the work on levels of accomplishment. This takes a little more time to create, but can be adapted to different assignments. The rubric, like the checklist, is also created before an assignment is given so the child has a guideline to follow. To evaluate the project, you will again check off the areas that were included, but this time you have levels (good, great, excellent, etc.). Finally, you will total the number of points for the grade. Here are some examples of rubrics.